Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Literary Corner: Holy Fool

The holy fool Private Kozma Prutkov, creation of the 19th-century novelist and satirist Aleksei Tolstoy, in a drawing by M. Dormer (Nature, June 2000). Asked which was more important, the sun or the moon, he replied, "The moon, of course! It shines at night, when we need the light, while the sun only shines in the daytime!" (Probably stolen by the Russians from the Muslim folk hero Mullah Nasreddin.)


The Moon's Orbit Is Apparently Changing Some

by Louis Buller Gohmert, Jr.

Yeah, well, we can't
do anything substantive
about the climate change
right now,
when the moon's orbit
is apparently changing some,
the earth's orbit is changing some,
according to NASA.
But we can do something
about people that will continue
to die getting across
our border.
As reported by The American Independent, from an appearance on Fox Business, in response to question about Vice President Harris's claim that climate change is a factor in the northward migration of people from Central America, where increasingly destructive hurricanes lash the coasts while droughts in the dry corridor down the middle from southern Mexico to Panama get longer and more intense across the decades, driving farmers to cities in search of work that turns out not to exist, and endemic violence that drives them into still more dangerous journeys across borders:

Within their own countries, many arrive in cities and encounter systemic issues from corruption to violence, including especially high rates of gender-based violence. The migrants then leave these urban areas too, and begin to migrate internationally, hoping for a better life.

In the case of much of the so-called “migrant caravan” and many, many more who’ve made that harrowing journey before and since, their hope brought them to the doorstep of the United States – where they’ve long been met with chaos and cruelty.

Changes in the relations between the Moon and Earth are not so much in the orbit of the former as in its distance, which has been steadily receding over the past four and a half billion years or so at a rate of about 4 centimeters per year, on a completely different trendline than the cyclical warming-cooling process, and much too slowly to have any relation to rapid changes like the global warming of the past century. 

Changes in the relations between the Earth and the Sun do involve the Earth's orbit and are cyclical, but the cycles are on the scale of 100,000 years (eccentricity), 41,000 years (tilt), and 26,000 years (axial precession), and do have a relationship to the cyclic return of ice ages, but again not to a rapid process like that of the current warming process. The driver of current global warming continues to be human production of greenhouse gases that we can in fact do something about, right now, indeed by adopting the plans of the Biden administration (better than nothing, though they aren't enough).

The quickest way to stop people from dying as they cross the Mexico-US border is obviously for the Customs and Border Patrol to pick them up and take care of them, and hear their requests for asylum, if they are making them, as is the case for most Central American migrants at the southern border, fleeing, as you know, from gang violence and personal violence in the slums of Tegucigalpa and San Salvador made unlivable by climate-driven concentration of population, chronic unemployment, and government corruption and neglect. 

I'm of the opinion, as usual, that a generous asylum policy is good for the US as well, and I'm not alone in that, as NPR was reporting (again) just yesterday, among small business owners in depopulated (red) states like Idaho, Nebraska, and North Dakota:

Even amid the coronavirus pandemic, Idaho's unemployment rate has been hovering around 3%. In the capital city, Boise, for-hire signs are posted at grocery stores and restaurants — and at Pete Amador's home health care agency.

His latest ad even offers a thousand-dollar signing bonus. Amador could easily hire 50 more people right now, if they would apply. There is a long waitlist of elderly clients.

"People are calling hourly asking for help," he says.

About 70% of Amador's caregivers are refugees. He says his business would not be what it is today without them. First of all, locals don't usually apply for these jobs. As a Medicaid provider, he can offer only around $11 an hour to start. For refugees, though, it's usually their first employment in the United States. They work hard and want to move up, he says.

"Without the refugees coming in, it has created a shortage for my company and our ability to provide great care to our clients," Amador says.

This is not rocket science, Louie. Fortunately. Even you ought to be able to understand it.

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